Writing Zombie Fiction with Chekhov

Finally, after our successful crowdfunding campaign to keep Scintilla going another year, I’ve sat down with Anton Chekhov and we’ve written two zombie mashups. It was hard to choose stories. I made it halfway through “Ward Six” before stopping. I wanted to write “The Zombie (Lady) with the Dog” because I thought it’d be funny to make all of her dialogue incomprehensible. But, does it need to be understood?

At Christmas Time with Zombies” is a little more subtle. The zombie narrative is hidden inside the larger narrative as a young miscreant writes a letter for a woe-filled elderly couple to their daughter. The horror story is not the most devilish part of the piece though.

So what was it like to write with Chekhov? Unfortunately, it was first parsed by Constance Garnett and comes across a little too stilted. However, I retyped both stories so that I would feel more free to add in my own text when inspired. In “The Zombie (Lady) with the Dog” that allowed me to more easily modify descriptions and add in my own text. At times it felt like taking a part a piece of clothing stitch by stitch and sewing it back again with my own flourishes.

In any case, I hope the people for whom the stories I for enjoy them, and that you all do as well.

More Baby Firsts

Time seems to be getting away from me. Good intentions to write vanish beneath the need for sleep, to clean, to try and rest. So here’s a list of firsts.

  • First haircut, March 8th.
  • First swim, March 15th.
  • First eating of solids, a month and half ago.

When a Week Feels Like a Month

If you read this post from the other week, you may have a sense that it’s been a stressful time for our family. Two weeks later and Michiko 1Trying not to use my daughter’s real name in this writing. is well, we’ve found wonderful, new childcare, and life is returning to normal. That week however, felt so long. We both took time off to take care of Michiko and monitor her. We worked out some emergency childcare with a friend. Then, fortune turned toward us and a colleague’s former nanny was opening up an in-home daycare that week.

In a flurry of emails, phone calls, and meetings, it all worked out and last week was Michiko’s first week there. She’s doing great. We’re getting used to packing up and dropping her off in the mornings instead of having someone come to our house. But that week, it felt like the days stretched on and on. Tension coiled my shoulders up and each day was exhausting. When I look back, it was only two weeks ago, it seems like that week occurred far in the past. I’m not sure what the basis is for that, but it’s strange. Was it just such a stressful time that one copes by distancing one’s self from it?

Notes   [ + ]

1. Trying not to use my daughter’s real name in this writing.